chapter  7
25 Pages

The Anglo-French Declaration of 8 November 1918

ByIsaiah Friedman

This chapter examines what was the origin and motivation for the joint Anglo-French move and whether there was any substance in the Arab claim. The idea of the declaration was conceived in the fertile mind of Sir Mark Sykes. His purpose was to clear the Allied Powers of the annexationist taint, which had taken hold of Arab populations following the revelation, albeit in a distorted form, by the Bolsheviks of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. In 1918, Sykes submitted a memorandum to the British Cabinet which contained the draft of a declaration to be made to King Hussein. In the final analysis, in Sykes's judgment, only under the protection, guidance, and education of the Powers concerned would the local inhabitants be able to grow gradually into an independent entity. This was a refined version of his thinking in November 1915 when preparing, jointly with Georges Picot, the Agreement named after them.